Heiberg Leads Boxing Reform Panel

(ATR) IOC member Gerhard Heiberg will lead the Reform Committee being formed by international boxing federation AIBA

(ATR) IOC member Gerhard Heiberg will lead the Reform Committee being formed by international boxing federation AIBA.

Newly-elected AIBA President Ching Kuo Wu has made Heiberg's appointment official after receiving the endorsement of the IOC Executive Board earlier this month.

Heiberg is a member of the EB and has been monitoring AIBA and Olympic boxing on behalf of the IOC in the wake of persistent controversies over judging of bouts at the Games.

Wu was elected president of the federation on November 4 in a raucous vote at the AIBA Congress in Santo Domingo. He defeated Anwar Chowdhry for the post, one of the few times in the annals of Olympic sport that a challenger has unseated an entrenched incumbent for federation president.

The AIBA Reform Committee is supposed to review "all issues related to the sport of boxing and AIBA organization and develop new changes which would support [Wu's] visions of building new era of AIBA," says a release from the federation.

The committee, in the process of being named, is to consist of 11 members: 7 outside professionals and 4 AIBA representatives. First meeting of the committee is set for Feb. 11 to 15 in Taipei, Wu's home town.

Asian Games Boxing Termed Success

AIBA says the boxing tournament at the Asian Games this month produced a first at such an international competition: no disputes were lodged in the 12 days of competition.

"The draw for officials for each bout was conducted in full view of spectators and team members," says an AIBA statement.

"With the open scoring system, all of the 181 bouts were judged with no political pressure or outside interference, and the athletes won only by themselves," says AIBA.

Medals were won in Doha by seven countries in 11 weight divisions.

Wu says the smooth-running of the tournament is proof the boxing community wants changes.

"I am so proud of all technical officials who followed the direction of new AIBA and the sport of boxing," he says.

"I also congratulate for all athletes who perform their best under new clean and transparent environment. I was so touched and proud myself when some of officials from different countries expressed their great satisfactions," Wu says.

IOC President Jacques Rogge paid a visit to the boxing competition during his trip to the Asian Games. In 2005, Rogge ordered a freeze on payments due AIBA from TV rights fees from the Athens Olympics, pending reforms for boxing. The IOC has now released about $400,000 of those funds to help national boxing federations purchase the new computerized equipment that is part of reforms for the way bouts are scored in AIBA-sanctioned events.